For some reason the farmer tan, particularly on my set of freshly shaved legs always makes me happy. The more profound the contrast between the skin above and below my short line the bigger my feeling of accomplishment. 

Of course over the course of my cycling career there have been other tan lines as well – helmet-strap and glove lines, even the semi-permanent tattoo of teams past when I would spend 30-40 hours a week training is a long gone, super-thin jersey with black and white graphics that would leave there negative photo-etched in my back for years at clip.

I’ve also been cycling for more than 20 years, so at this point leg hair – on either a man or a woman – just looks wrong to me. That’s not to say that over the winter I haven’t let the curls grow out a bit and put a week or two in between shaves, but when that happens it just makes me want them slicked all the more when I get around to shaving.

Since we’re pretty much rocketing toward high-summer here on the Colorado Front Range and finally I can log some miles without having the arm and leg warmers on so the farmer tan is getting there, and the legs need to stay shaven. It’s four months until cross season and I have a lot of work to do to be ready, so here’s to darkening that farmer tan so that I’m ready in time…